Traditional beef stifado

    2 hours 10 min

    Stifado is Greek for 'stew' and a stifado recipe typically calls for rabbit, beef or even beef heart. This beef stifado is simply delicious and like any other stifado I recommend serving it with rice, chips, mashed potato or simply loads of crusty bread!


    Greater London, England, UK
    23 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 2kg beef stewing steak
    • 100ml olive oil
    • 750g small shallots, peeled and left whole
    • 3 to 5 whole cloves garlic
    • 500g passata
    • 200ml water
    • 2 whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes (brown in batches if necessary, so as not to overcrowd the pan). Remove the beef from the casserole and set aside.
    2. Add the shallots and garlic to the casserole and cook until slightly soft and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.
    3. Add the beef back to the casserole, trying to get the beef to the bottom with most of the shallots on top. Add the passata, water and seasoning. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer without stirring for 75 minutes, uncovering the last 15 minutes to ensure all excess water evaporates. (Shake the casserole occasionally to prevent sticking - but avoid stirring so the onions don't fall apart.)


    You don't have to use shallots in stifado; use very small onions or pearl onions instead.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    I was so confident it would be good I made it for the first time when we had dinner guests. Fantastic dish. The only thing I did differently I added more shallots, a little bit more cinnamon & cooked it on a very low heat for a lot longer.  -  03 Apr 2012


    After buying beef heart instead of beef joint (my Bulgarian is still a bit dodgy!) I needed to find a recipe that used heart. I noted your suggestion to use it in stifado and I was so pleased with the end results. It was truly delicious and reminded me of the the years I'd spent in Greece. I cooked the meat for about an hour longer at a really low heat but apart from that I followed the recipe to the letter. Thank you for a great recipe  -  10 Jan 2012